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Holloway, Howell win contested GOP primaries in far western Ky.

Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams is projecting a low voter turnout for the state's primary election on Tuesday, May 16.
Tony Webster
Wikimedia Commons
Far western Kentucky saw two contested GOP primary races for state offices on Election Day.

Holloway knocks off longtime incumbent Rep. Heath

A far western Kentucky state House district will have a new representative in Frankfort in January for the first time since 2012.

Graves County resident Kimberly Holloway unseated longtime incumbent Republican State Rep. Richard Heath in the District 2 GOP primary on Tuesday. No Democratic challengers registered to run in the general election for District 2, which encompasses all of Graves County and part of McCracken County.

GOP primary challenger Kimberly Holloway
Hannah Saad
Kimberly Holloway

Holloway’s victory comes after she ran a write-in campaign against Heath in the 2022 general election – which she ran after being disqualified from the 2022 GOP primary over a paperwork error.

“I am ready for this challenge and am so thankful to have been given this opportunity. I owe my most sincere gratitude to my fellow Kentuckians for trusting me to be an advocate for our district,” Holloway said in a social media post.

At a GOP candidate forum in Graves County last month, Holloway said it was time for a “changing of the guard” for District 2. There, she also criticized Heath for his support of a 2022 act that reduced the state’s income tax, but also levied a sales tax on services like utilities for locations excluding primary residences. She argued that the Commonwealth needed to enact a “fair income tax elimination plan” that leaves more money in taxpayers’ pockets.

KY Liberty Caucus listed Holloway as a verified candidate – indicating that candidates’ views and actions “closely align with a principled, constitutional conservative, liberty-minded worldview.”

Heath, the incumbent, was first elected to the office in 2012. He has served as the chair of the House Agriculture Committee since 2017.

GOP Kentucky state Senator Jason Howell
Hannah Saad
GOP Kentucky state Senator Jason Howell

In another contested GOP primary race in western Kentucky, incumbent State Sen. Jason Howell held off a challenge in District 1 from former state Rep. Lynn Bechler. With no Democratic challenger in the November general election, Howell will represent the district for another four years.

Howell won his first term in office in 2020 and has said that he wants to continue to build on the work he’s done at the Capitol. One of the focus areas for his next term he named during his campaign was rural economic development.

“I think we do a really good job in the state of developing economic prospects inside the Golden Triangle. But I think we kind of fall apart outside of that,” he said. “That's something that I’ve built a coalition of rural legislators with over the last couple of years, and we're going to start looking more and more into that area.”

Howell said he also wanted to work toward a goal of bringing a veterinary school program to Murray State University.

Hannah Saad is the Assistant News Director for WKMS. Originally from Michigan, Hannah earned her bachelor’s degree in news media from The University of Alabama in 2021. Hannah moved to western Kentucky in the summer of 2021 to start the next chapter of her life after graduation. Prior to joining WKMS in March 2023, Hannah was a news reporter at The Paducah Sun. Her goal at WKMS is to share the stories of the region from those who call it home. Outside of work, Hannah enjoys exploring local restaurants, sports photography, painting, and spending time with her fiancé and two dogs.
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